A Quarter Century of Production Practices
- W.C. Skinner (Mobil Research and Development Corp.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- December 1973
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,425 - 1,431
- 1973. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 3.1.1 Beam and related pumping techniques, 6.1.5 Human Resources, Competence and Training, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 3 Production and Well Operations, 3.1.6 Gas Lift, 5.6.5 Tracers, 3.1.5 Plunger lift, 5.9.1 Gas Hydrates, 3.1.3 Hydraulic and Jet Pumps, 5.4.6 Thermal Methods, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 4.6 Natural Gas, 3.4.1 Inhibition and Remediation of Hydrates, Scale, Paraffin / Wax and Asphaltene, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.1.9 Tanks and storage systems, 4.1.3 Dehydration, 3.1 Artificial Lift Systems, 5.7.5 Economic Evaluations, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 3.3.1 Production Logging, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 4.3.4 Scale, 3.1.2 Electric Submersible Pumps, 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 4.3.1 Hydrates
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In the past quarter century, oilfield production practices have benefited from scientific analysis, which has enabled us to cope more efficiently and economically with increasingly difficult conditions. Both operating engineers and research workers have participated in refining the remarkable complex of equipment and participated in refining the remarkable complex of equipment and facilities that supplies the world with energy today.
During the first century of the petroleum industry in America, patterns of oilfield production practices were established that continue to the present day. The system of oilfield equipment and facilities including pumps, well heads, gathering lines, tank batteries, separators, and treaters was well established in this period. Industry people, many of them anonymous, contributed ingenuity, skill, and persistent effort to creating a highly effective and efficient system of transferring crude oil from reservoirs to pipelines. Much of this was trial and error, and we pipelines. Much of this was trial and error, and we are indebted to the mechanical ability of oilfield workers as well as to the pioneer efforts of diverse engineering specialists. Their methods have been adopted world wide, and out of the orderly study and analysis of these methods grew the profession of petroleum engineering.
Production Automation Production Automation Oilfield automation is exceptional in that it is a completely new development of recent years. Lease automatic custody transfer (LACT) and automatic well test facilities are the most widely used advancements in production automation. Zaba has described the acceptance of LACT over the period from 1955 to 1962. His paper provides a history of cost data, showing that costs decreased from $20,000 for early custom LACT units in 1956 to $5,000 for standard LACT units in 1961. The significance of this development is dramatized by an example of 78 wells that first were served by 14 tank batteries, 98 tanks, and 17 treaters, and then later were served by only one LACT unit and one tank battery with one tank and two treaters. Positive-displacement meters are used to measure liquid volume, and capacitance probes are used to indicate the percentage of water in the effluent stream. LACT facilities use these for measuring BS and W. The same approach is used at automatic well test satellites to measure net oil. A classic paper by Warren analyzed the effect of crude composition, temperature, pressure, water content, and electrical frequency in the capacitance-type probe. Mechanical analog integrators were still being used in 1962, but by 1968 Zimmerman et al. reported the acceptance of electronic integrators. The use of capacitance probes at high water cuts presents problems, and the best study of the problem of oil-in-water problems, and the best study of the problem of oil-in-water emulsions passing through a capacitance probe appears in a paper by Kite. This paper also provides guidance on varying paper by Kite. This paper also provides guidance on varying the water cut in the effluent stream during the dump cycle of a test separator.
Remotely initiated radio alarm systems were popular in the mid-1960's and are still used, together with remotely initiated automatic telephone dialing systems. Martin described a broad range of equipment and techniques for what has been called "low level automation."
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